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Trainees' Exchange 2014 - BBS Ammerland/ZST Pleszew/England
Start date: Jun 1, 2016, End date: May 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The rural district Pleszew (PL) and the administrative district Ammerland have a close local and political partnership since 2000. This partnership was extended to the academic level in 2001. The basis for the partnership between BBS Ammerland and Zespół Skół Technicznych in Pleszew was and still is the German interest which had evolved from their shared history and Poland’s ad-mission to the EU in May 2004. Although the EU status of Poland has moved into the background the historical incidents and therefore the political education of our participants are still of considerable relevance.Moreover, vocational aspects especially of young workers have to be taken into consideration. On the one hand, the participants are 36 students, who are absolving their first vocational training. They qualify in training courses such as electronic technicians, metalworkers, industrial mechanics, wholesale clerks, office and catering assistants. However, it is also possible to include other vocational fields. On the other hand, participants are 19 teachers and training supervisors. A stay abroad can significantly improve the chances of young people in the job market. However, it is important to prepare them adequately for diverse situations with respect to professional and intercultural aspects. Therefore, young trainees are sent to have firsthand experiences with both professional dialogue and personal meetings which enables them to interact with potential international partners in a fair, compe-tent and efficient way. This goal can be reached by offering them 3-week internships in different European businesses. Each group sent abroad consists of eight respectively ten participants. The chosen participants have an interest to be employed in Europe in the future.Furthermore, it is important to our school to support the personal development of young people. To get in contact with a foreign culture, including coping with others in a foreign language will improve their self-esteem and possibly help them to decrease or give up existing prejudices. Included in this internship program there is also a special cultural framework program to help reach this goal.The project begins anew with each fresh group, since the trainees only take part in the program once. That means we aim to reach the same objectives in every project, but we gain new trainees each time. This way we continuously reach a wider circle of trainees, whom we can offer the opportunity of an internship in a foreign country, i. e. Poland or England. This is especially important because the trainees are predominantly working in small- or medium-sized businesses and therefore rarely gain experiences in bigger or foreign companies. Thus, the overall objective of the placements is the qualitative improvement of the apprenticeship through a development of intercultural professionalism, linguistic, and social competence and sensitization of the necessity to educate oneself further in this area.We expect that our objectives (technological, intercultural, social, linguistic, and political) will be reached to a large extent. For us this means among other things that the trainees will be able to reflect their diverse experiences after their stay abroad and to include them in their current or future apprenticeship. Additionally, we expect that they will profit in future employment and hiring situa-tions from their stay abroad and that all this will have a permanent effect.The importance of learning languages, e. g. English as lingua franca, becomes more obvious when one stays abroad. The language barrier is a special obstacle which must be coped with. This is especially true for languages which are not taught in school.The political structures of our host country are, apart from the existing democratic structures, still influenced by obedience and hierarchy. Our participants can observe these differences when they attend the lessons in school and take part in events at school or elsewhere. They may learn that, compared to Poland, political and social structures have a different character in Germany which allows our young people more freedom than teenagers in Poland.All in all, the experiences abroad will leave a sustainable impression on the young people who take part in the program, something which will probably influence them in various situations in the future and they will be properly prepared and qualified for any international tasks in their future occupational careers.
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